Should You Shower Before a Physical?

I was thinking about this concept the other night. Wouldn’t doctors be able to learn more about their patient’s health if their patients didn’t shower before coming in for a physical?

It seems like coming in clean eliminates the the value of one of the senses a doctor could use to identify health issues.

Can a doctor learn more about your health from your choice of body soap, shampoo, or natural odors? The answer seems obvious to me.

Of course, that’s only the case of doctors are trained to use their nose. Does that happen?

2 thoughts on “Should You Shower Before a Physical?”

  1. Here’s a two-part answer. I took an animal in to the vet not long ago, and watched as he did a quick waiting room assessment of a wound/raw spot on a dog a woman had brought in. He took a sample with his finger and smelled it. I forget what he was sniffing for, but it apparently helped him rule out some causes.

    My wife, an Ob-gyn, has asked her patients not to spray themselves down before coming in for an exam. This has more to do with the doctor being overcome by the artificial fragrances than a particular diagnostic technique, I think; overwhelming olfactory sensations can probably interfere with the cognitive processes.

  2. Based on the smell that my tooth produced when my abcess was drilled into, I would say, if you have an illness that produces a smell, you’re not going to be able to cover it with Irish Spring.

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